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The Region

February 12, 1986

A 30-foot migrating California gray whale was freed from most of the gill net that had entangled it and left the animal motionless in waters directly off Zuma Beach, officials said. Los Angeles County lifeguards worked for four hours cutting away an estimated 300 feet of net. "We were hoping that it wasn't trapped so badly that we would have had to send a diver in to work on it because whales tend to get dangerous when they're finally freed," said lifeguard Capt. Gary Crum. He said the animal remained motionless until all but 50 feet of the net had been removed. It then resumed its migratory path, swimming south. Crum said a 40-foot fishing boat had been working in the area where the whale was found, 10 miles north of the Malibu Pier, but the boat's operators denied responsibility for the net.

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